50 artists and events planned for 50th Swaledale Festival

Magnard Ensemble.

Fifty artists and events are scheduled for this year’s Swaledale Festival in celebration of the event’s 50th anniversary.

Organisers say that with seven weeks to go ticket sales are strong.

A wide programme of performances and events has been scheduled.

The attractions include Bammental School Symphony Orchestra which are travelling from Germany with their conductor to perform a combination of orchestral classics, tangos and Irish folk tunes on Tuesday, May 31 as part of the festival’s Young Artists Platform (YAP), which showcases tomorrow’s stars.

Also taking their place on the YAP stage are maestros Richard Uttley, Callum Smart, and Ben Goldscheider on Thursday, June 2. Pianist Uttley played in the festival in the early days of what is now a stellar career.

He is joined by two more fast-rising stars – the violinist Smart and the French horn player and BBC Young Musician finalist, Goldscheider.

Magnard Ensemble, a talented woodwind group, will perform a programme of Byrd, Mozart and Stephen Dodgson on Tuesday, June 7.

Organisers say this year’s programme includes some festival favourites.

Aurora Percussion Duo return to share their beautifully choreographed music on a myriad of instruments from maracas to marimbas on Monday, June 6, and the world-renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8 will lead a singing workshop for all abilities on Friday, June 3.

Friends since they were neighbours in the sixties, guitarist Dave Kelly and keyboardist Bob Hall have had illustrious careers in the British blues scene and have won many awards for their artistry.

These living legends, who cut their teeth with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, will be jamming with bassist Hilary Blythe on Monday, June 6.

There are some great duos in the line-up this year.

Violinist Michael Foyle and cellist Thomas Carroll – two players who are in great demand around the world – will perform duets by Ravel, Martinu and Kodaly on Sunday, May 29.

And the folk harmonica wizard Will Pound will spar with the young guitarist Jenn Butterworth on Monday, May 30.

The young Australian soprano Lotte Betts-Dean will sing with her father, the violist and famous composer Brett Dean.

Their performance on Saturday, June 11 will include the world premiere of a piece which Brett Dean has composed especially for the festival’s 50th.

All this, plus exhibitions, walks, talks, film, poetry, a Family Fun Day in Reeth and a whole lot more.

The festival runs from May 28 to June 11 and tickets for under 25s are available for £3.

For information and bookings please visit www.swalefest.org